How to get Copyright Permission to use a song on YouTube
Sometimes a client will ask for well known song to be included in their work, often to be viewed world wide and appear on Youtube. In order to play recorded music in public, legal permission is needed from the copyright holders. A music licence gives you this permission.
I knew from previous experience that obtaining a music license for a small DVD run could be obtained through PPluk.com. Applying for a track to be used on Youtube would be a more complicated process.
I started by searching Youtube for any golden nuggets of information which might point me in the right direction. Here I found a useful video uploaded http://www.youtube.com/user/Uryens108
The clip pointed me to a number of sites which contain the four main publishers. By doing a simple search in the licensing section and choosing the SYNC licensing option you can obtain the publisher. You’re looking for the publisher and not the artist, I found the track on the bmg.com.
Then it’s just a case of emailing the publisher and asking their permission, useful information to include:
- Name of artist
- Name of song
- The song timing (How much of the song?)
- Nature of use
- Is this an original or cover?
- For profit or non-profit
When applying for a Sync licence its also worth asking if the track needs to be cleared by any other publishers. Many bands use more than one publisher for worldwide distribution and its worth bearing this in mind.
When I spoke with BMG they were very helpful and quick to respond. They informed me that multiple licences were required and gave me a list of publishers to contact.
Don’t forget to include a special thanks when you upload the track to Youtube.